The Cheshire Workforce
Impressively, more than one third of the Cheshire workforce possess a university degree, which is greater than the national average. The proportion of the working population in high value jobs - managers, professionals, technical workers - is also above the average for both the North West and the UK, providing plenty of opportunities for businesses.
A number of Cheshire and Warrington’s further education colleges are classed as ‘outstanding’ and there are university campuses in Chester, Crewe and Warrington. In addition, there are strong links with and easy transport to the nationally significant Universities of Manchester and Liverpool and their resources, as well as the dozen other universities of prominence across the wider region.
Among the educational institutions in Cheshire and Warrington are the University of Chester, Manchester Metropolitan University Crewe campus, Macclesfield College, West Cheshire College, Reaseheath College, Mid Cheshire College, South Cheshire College and Warrington Collegiate. Across these establishments there is constant investment and expansion in education and training facilities, with plans in place to capitalise on the pre-existing experience and skill base.
The area has world-class strengths, particularly in advanced manufacturing, food and drink, energy and nuclear, financial and insurance services, and is home to well-known global companies such as Bank of America, Jaguar Land Rover and AstraZeneca.
The county has a flexible and entrepreneurial population with more than 80% of working-age people economically active, and also scores highly for the number of new businesses formed, and per head of population.
Since 1992, the population of the Cheshire and Warrington area has significantly grown by 9% to 900,000.
This currently offers businesses a skilled and experienced labour pool of 534,400 people within the working age population (males aged 16-64 and females aged 16-59). Therefore, opportunities are readily available for companies as 59% of all Cheshire and Warrington’s population are currently at working age. The economic activity rate (the proportion of residents who are employed or unemployed) has consistently remained at around 80% over the last five years, unfailingly outperforming not only the North West (74.6%), but the UK as a whole (76.7% in 2009).
Cheshire is often considered to be a rural area, a perception that is supported by the number of people living within country locations, such as 39% of Cheshire East, and 34% of Cheshire West and Chester. However, the county is also made up of urban areas, with the remainder of the population living in cities such as Chester (74,410), Ellesmere Port (61,640), Macclesfield (50,270) and Warrington Borough (88,100).
Cheshire and Warrington’s size per square kilometre is 2,342, which accounts for 17% of the North West region. In terms of population density, on average, there are 429 people per square kilometre, compared to a figure of 397 for England and 489 for the North West. Unsurprisingly, Warrington has a high population density of 1093 people, consequently offering opportunities of a large pool of people within a relatively small area for any potential employer.